ASU’s Carey School Gets $25M Infusion From Namesake Foundation

The W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University has received a $25 million gift from its namesake’s foundation, bringing it halfway to its goal of $50 million by 2020. Courtesy photoThe last time Arizona State University’s business school received a major gift of tens of millions of dollars, it changed its name and saw a big change in its fortunes, moving up to become one of the premier ranked B-schools in the U.S. West.

That was 2003, when William Polk Carey gave $50 million to the school that would subsequently bear his name. Today (January 8) the W.P. Carey School of Business announced that the W.P. Carey Foundation had donated another $25 million as part of a new $50 million fundraising campaign, money that will go toward career support services, new professor hiring, and other faculty recruitment.

The new gift brings the Carey Foundation’s total investment in the school to $75 million — but the family legacy of support for the school and the university it belongs to goes well beyond money. As William P. Carey II, chairman of the Carey Foundation, said in a news release announcing the new gift, his great-great-grandfather John S. Armstrong is considered the legislative founder of what became Arizona State University.

“We are extremely proud of the W.P. Carey School of Business and its achievements since our initial investment of $50 million in 2003,” Carey said. “This new gift builds upon the Carey and Armstrong family legacies at ASU and helps propel ASU’s continued success as a world-class leader and innovator in business education.”


More than half of the new gift to ASU’s Carey School of Business will go to career services and resources for the school’s nearly 16,000 students. ASU Carey photo

$15 million of the overall giving that will be directed from the W.P. Carey Foundation will go to support career services and resources for the nearly 16,000 current students — undergraduate, MBA, specialized master’s, and doctoral — that attend the Carey School. The other $10 million from the foundation’s support will go toward the recruitment of “prominent” professors and researchers as endowed academic chairs. The donation also launches a giving campaign, Campaign ASU 2020, spearheaded by the Carey Foundation and the ASU Foundation to raise an additional $25 million to bring $50 million total in new funding to the business school.

Since taking its benefactor’s name in 2003, the W. P. Carey School has become one of the world’s top-ranked business schools, with 20 programs and disciplines ranked in the top 30 by U.S. News & World Report (29th). Among full-time MBA programs, ASU leads Ohio State, Pennsylvania State, and the University of Notre Dame, ranking 31st on the latest Poets&Quants list. In 2018, Financial Times ranked the school’s online, full-time, and executive MBA programs among the top 30 worldwide (25th), and the school No. 4 overall among public business schools in North and South America, ahead of the University of North Carolina, Cornell University, and the University of Maryland. But its online MBA program — ranked No. 5 by U.S. News and No. 12 by P&Q — has received the highest praise.

“It is so rewarding to continue our partnership with the W. P. Carey Foundation, whose unquestioned commitment to education has brought so much opportunity to so many,” said Amy Hillman, dean of the Carey School. “We have been able to reach heights that simply could not have been possible without belief in what we do and support along the way from the Foundation and our many other generous benefactors. This new investment reaffirms our stewardship of their previous gift and provides us what is required to innovate and enhance our standing in an evolving business and economic environment.”


Will Carey II. Courtesy photo

The school’s ascension has occurred as it has doubled enrollment over the past 15 years; in fall 2017 (the most recent numbers available on the school’s website), the Carey School had 13,555 undergrad students, including 2,084 international undergrads, plus 869 MBA students (part-time, online, and full-time), 654 specialized master’s program students, and 124 doctoral students. Now the school says it has 15,970 total students, a 4.9% increase in one year. Among the Carey School’s innovations are early adoption of online degrees, a master’s degree in business analytics, and “transdisciplinary bachelor’s degrees that have expanded the number of options to more than 30 majors.” No wonder William Carey II says “there is no better time to invest in the business school.”

“This gift marks another critical turning point for the business school and reinforces the W. P. Carey Foundation’s tremendous commitment to and impact on this university,” ASU President Michael Crow said in the news release. “The foundation’s support over the years has resulted in ASU having one of the top-rated and most highly sought-after business schools in the country. I am grateful to the foundation for their support of our university, faculty, and most importantly our students — who will be the primary benefactors of their generosity.”

Campaign ASU 2020 has less than 18 months remaining, and the school hopes the Carey Foundation’s big gift will spark some generosity in other individuals and philanthropic organizations. “We look at this investment as something that will benefit us not only in 2019 and 2020 but also serve as the launchpad for thousands of careers in the future,” Dean Hillman said. “Part of ASU’s mission is to provide access to all qualified students, no matter their background or financial circumstance.”


According to the news release, new initiatives funded by at least $15 million of the Carey Foundation’s latest investment will deploy more staff support and expertise, as well as additional technology and online tools toward career services. Areas of focus are to include “increasing job placement rates for graduates, elevating starting salaries, developing new relationships with industry-leading recruiting partners, and providing enhanced lifelong learning to alumni.” The school also plans to grow its ranks of mentees and mentors involved in education and career development. The gift also allocates at least $10 million to the endowment of two new faculty appointments known as the “Carey Chairs.” The school cites its recent ranking among the top five U.S. business schools — ahead of Harvard, Columbia, and Stanford — as measured by its rate of publication in top management journals.

“We have 22,000 first-generation college students at ASU. This level of support will advance all of our students, but one thing that stands out — and something we believe will resonate with other donors during our fundraising campaign — is how world-class career services at a top business school will bring new possibilities to first-generation students,” Hillman said, noting the positive impact better-prepared candidates can immediately bring to hiring companies. “This sort of generosity can help shift the competitive balance for employers that hire our graduates while rewriting the story of hundreds of hard-working families each year.”

Added William Carey II: “I am proud we can continue to honor all of their memories by providing additional support for the next generation of leaders to graduate from ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business. There is no better time to invest in the business school and we look forward to other individuals and foundations partnering with ASU to build an even better future by attracting preeminent faculty while offering students the best possible career opportunities.”


No wonder William Carey II says “there is no better time to invest in the business school.”

There is no better time to invest in the business school

There is no better time to invest in the business school

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